Marathon Number Four

Long story short: I registered for the 2017 Vermont City Marathon today!

Long story long:

Around 2011: Amanda and I had a few margaritas and registered for VCM from the floor of my living room. Later the same day, I remembered we’d be in California for a friend’s wedding and I wouldn’t be able to run it.

2013: I finished my first marathon ever, the Cape Cod Marathon, and immediately registered for another VCM. I went to college near Burlington, Vermont and lived there a few years longer. One of my favorite towns on the planet, and it made sense that if I ever ran two marathons, it would be both Cape Cod and Vermont.

I tore my ACL that December 24th and wasn’t able to run. I deferred my VCM registration till the following year.

2015: VCM was a huge motivation for me in my healing, and training was going to start exactly one year after my injury. Because of my job with the Falmouth Road Race, however, I was ecstatic to get a bib for Boston as well. When combined with training for the Martha’s Vineyard 20-Miler, I was one exhaaaauuusted runner come VCM day. I ran it, but I hated the sport of running for approximately 19 miles of it.

If you’re paying attention to the characters in the story, Amanda (see margaritas above) was there cheering along Church Street because her now-fiance was running the marathon too!

2016: Swapping it up, Amanda and my husband Gary decided to run VCM! It was an honor for me and her man Kris to be on the sidelines cheering for them this time around! Crazy heat meant the race was cancelled in the 4th hour, but they both still crossed the finish line soon after.

2017: Yup, drinking with Amanda again. We started talking game like all four of us were going to run together this year. We ran 2×2, so this year should be all four of us, right? Low and behold, our friend Katie jumps in too (there was a lot of wine that night), and she wants to check 26.2 off her bucket list! Whaaaat? Add Gemma to the text list.

Registered. Five months and….. GO!

Piggy Trot 2016

cape cod road race called the piggy trot

We wouldn’t miss it – the Glenna Kohl Fund for Hope‘s Piggy Trot every May (melanoma-awareness month!) in Osterville!

It was cold and drizzly, but we love this 3.7 mile course along the beaches of our neighboring village, and we love supporting our friends the Kohls!

cape cod road race called the piggy trot

I love running in a drizzle, gotta admit! Thanks for a wonderful Sunday morning!

This Week in Boston

Another gorgeous Marathon Monday in the books!

I appear to have picked the one year to run Boston when it was freezing and raining (last year), but I’ve benefitted by spectating on the more gorgeous 60-degree sunshine days other years! This past Monday was close to perfect! I only say close, because I was a little concerned that my runner friends were too warm.

It was a blast, as always, to get out there on the course! This year, I was psyched to drive up with my pal Kyle and meet fellow photographer friends at one of their home right on the course in Brighton. That meant a full bathroom, kitchen, place to keep our clothes AND an incredible homemade lunch of eggplant parmesan!

A full day of inspiration ensued! Endless Oiselle teammates to scream for, those with disabilities or military garb to surpass, and regular ‘ol human beings pushing beyond their wildest dreams.

Of course I caught a bit of it on Snapchat! Follow me ;-)

2016-04-18 15.34.19

Have you been a Boston Marathon spectator? It’s epic and exhausting. My throat was screeching the next day. And it was AWESOME.

Spring Ahead!

cape cod running

Oh hey there! YES, I still exist!

Things have been a little crazy around here as I launched a new business and immediately got hired full-time for said business… At least for a certain contract period, I’m now handling social marketing strategy for IFAW – the International Fund for Animal Welfare! It’s been an incredible gig over the last 2+ months!

As far as running goes, I’m still recovering from last spring’s burnout, but enjoying ever-longer miles and group runs in this sweet spring weather! My last races included Falmouth’s Seagull Six and half of the Martha’s Vineyard 20-Miler in February with my friend Jen, except it wasn’t really “half” due to snow, ice and wind. I’ve been hitting up our Tuesday night run club on the regular, and accompanying my man Gary out on the roads of Cotuit village for longer weekend runs (he’s training for the Vermont City Marathon next month).

cape cod runningA couple of weeks ago, someone at run club asked if I had anything I was training for. I said no. I SAID NO. And then I remembered I’m registered for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon this May 1st! Ha ha ha! I’m excited to photograph the wedding of my friends Jessica and Aldo this fall, and we decided to combine the race with their engagement photos in the city of Pittsburgh! Fun stuff!

When it comes to the burnout thing, I’m pretty sure I’m on the mend. I find I simply don’t want to be told I “have” to run. I still love when I do run, I remember the feeling of meditation that comes with it, and I really want to head out with groups of friends any chance I get. I saw someone who seemed to be running for exercise the other day, and I realized I don’t feel that way AT ALL about running. None of it seems like exercise to me. Is that weird or good? Let’s go with good. I clearly must still love running :-)

I ran 8 miles this past Saturday morning – my farthest since last May’s marathon!

Obviously, along the way I stopped blogging. This blog has always been more than just running though, and I am looking forward to getting back to chatting with you all!

As always, I’m still there on Instagram and now Snapchat!

 

Zumba Cruise Video

Fresh from a week on the Zumba Cruise! Like I said before, I hate cruises (still do) and I had never done Zumba before, but it sure made for a hilarious getaway birthday trip with my mom!

I was definitely frustrated the first two days, as it was impossible to escape the sounds of loud, thumping Zumba music at every corner of the ship. I’m all for dancing, but I’d packed books, my journal and pretty pens for all the brainstorming I was going to do. Of course I went to Zumba class right from day one, but by the time I eventually just gave up on the idea of R&R altogether, I was joining my mom for up to four Zumba classes a day the latter half of the week!

It turns out that Zumba is actually pretty cool! There were “celebrity” instructors from all over the world, and the music and choreography reflected their origins. I personally loved Gina and Dhario for their hip-hop style and songs I knew all the words to. The African team was our absolute favorite, starting with the opening to The Lion King and integrating drumming and warrior moves throughout the class. At any every given moment, here were classes on the main pool deck outside, the helipad at the front of the ship, one in every lounge or theater area, the actual gym studio, aqua Zumba in other pools, and even in the middle of the mall-like “Promenade” amidst the shopping and restaurants.

Zumba Cruise 2016 from staceyhedman on Vimeo.

The outfits – OH the OUTFITS!!!! I mean, I hadn’t really known much about Zumba, and had no idea how this Beto guy – who was on the cruise too – started the Zumba craze something like 15-18 years ago. But WOW. The neon, the mesh, the high-top sneakers, the large word “ZUMBA” written across everything! I felt way underdressed… ha ha!

The Independence of the Seas, by Royal Caribbean, made stops in Labadee, Haiti and Falmouth, Jamaica. Both were private townships build specifically for cruise guests, so a lot less authentic culture than I’d normally aim for in my travels. We enjoyed a two-hour catamaran ride in beautiful, mountainous Haiti, but back on the beach we could hear nothing but the ugly screaming sounds of the concert stage. Jamaica was just a joke, as we were there for only half a day and surrounded by cheap tourist shops where nothing was actually produced in Jamaica.

All in all, I still don’t understand the draw of cruises. It’s a floating mall, with exposure only to the kind of culture you’d find in a grounded mall. Don’t get me wrong – I would definitely check out an Alaskan, Mediterranean or even a Norwegian fjiordland cruise like my parents did recently. But the Caribbean is just way cooler to immerse in than a cruise ship (or gated resort) allows.

Regardless, it was a fantastic week adventure with my mom, pretending I was a back-up dancer for Beyoncé and enjoying some excellent people-watching!

Hope you enjoy the video, and maybe even got in some real-time laughs by following me on Snapchat!

My Gym Bag

Okay, so I hardly go to the gym unless I’m teaching yoga or there’s a foot of snow outside…. but it seemed like a sensible title for this post!

I spent some time today compiling the very best of items in my running life. A few things here are specifically geared toward WINTER running, so I hope you enjoy on this February 1st!

running-store

This is an affiliate link, so yes, it tallies up a bit of Amazon credit for me if you click through… BUT, I’m really just sharing some great tips with YOU! I’d be running nowhere without this gear. Enjoy!!

I just spent a week on a ZUMBA CRUISE, so be on the lookout soon for the fun video and summary! It was a dooooozie!

Going on a Zumba Cruise

going on a zumba cruise

YEP, that’s right! I haven’t told this to the Internet yet, but I’m leaving for a Zumba Cruise in the morning!

A cruise. About ZUMBA.

I don’t “do” cruises and I’ve never tried Zumba, but friends are placing bets that I’ll come back a Zumba instructor ;-) See, what happened is that my mom booked a fun week away with a girlfriend, girlfriend bailed, money had been paid, AND it’s my mom’s birthday. Soooooo…. here we are!going on a zumba cruise

My mom and I have had a fairly great history of random adventures together. San Antonio, Scotland, Savannah, Charleston – always a great time, wherever we go! So I know this cruise to Haiti and Jamaica will be a blast, even with the twice-a-day Zumba already booked, ha!

Have you tried Zumba? Do you love it? Will I love it? And do they play Beyoncé?

I’m going to be pretty limited in wifi access (because I refuse to pay what I think they’re asking on the ship), but I plan to Snapchat some of the hilariousness! Find me at staceyhedman and join the fun!

The Start of a New Year

new years resolutions

I’m a HUGE fan of New Years! I simply cannot get on board with those who suggest New Years is “just like any other day”. Incidentally, I also love Mondays and mornings… fresh new starts happen all the time!

“A dream becomes a goal when you start taking action toward it.” Being Boss (podcast)

This book – the 52 Lists Project – is one of my favorite gifts under the tree this Christmas! It’s a beautiful book full of inspired lists and journal prompts for the year. Highly recommend!
new years resolutions

Do you sit down and write out your resolutions and intentions for a new year? If I could, I’d dedicate four weeks of holiday couch time to this! But alas… we were of course rushing around shopping, wrapping, cooking, delivering photos to my clients in time to share with family over the holidays!

I’m so very lucky to have the winter months slow down, and I really CAN set some time aside to evaluate, savor and plan. Hopefully you can too, maybe having a blank journal (or the 52 Lists book) nearby on the couch instead of zoning out to the television each night. Go ahead, MAKE MOVES! Whether it’s just toward a happier daily schedule, starting a new business, getting ahead of Christmas shopping/creating for NEXT year, inspiring date nights with your love, anything! Writer Elizabeth Gilbert shares her idea for a “Happiness Jar” as well, logging one happy thing that happened today, every day. Whatever floats your boat, how can you actively participate in your life? Let’s not let another year breeze by…

Happy 2016!!

dog walk on cape cod

Running Weather

christmas shirt running

Oh hey there – how’ya doing? Please forgive me while my fall season has had its typical craziness, and I’m left with barely a moment to run – nevermind to type about it. The wedding season is not quiiite done, as I’m off to two elopement-style celebrations this weekend! And of course there’s so much more all of my photography clients are looking for this holiday time of year, so no rest till January!

Realizing now that I never really came back to close on the whole yoga teacher training thing… but that happened, I graduated, and I’ve already got a regular spot on the calendar at Village Yoga in Marstons Mills! You can also find me at Fitness500 Club in Hyannis a few times this month, and coming up soon at Innerglow Yoga to start the year on January 2nd! I’ve had a lot of people ask me how I’m feeling about it, and I’m always honest – right now I’m just teaching as much as I can just to get used to it and calm the nerves! I’m not sure if it feels 100% comfortable yet, but I’m enjoying building on themes and playlists as I prep for each new class! Maybe I’ll see YOU in class sometime? Follow at staceyhedman.YOGA or on Facebook too!

christmas shirt runningthanksgiving 5k in vermont On the subject of RUNNING, however, I’m so excited to be back from a few months of yoga focus and continue building my distance back up again. Gary and I ran the Stratton Mountain Gobble Gobble Wobble 5K on Thanksgiving, as tradition! I now have my eyes on the Hyannis Half Marathon this February, and will be joining my friend Jen on a two-person team to run the Martha’s Vineyard 20-Miler the same month! I’d love to commit to a spring marathon as well, but I haven’t quite bit the bullet…

It was so predictable and still kinda sad for me to have over-run myself last winter and spring. I haven’t run more than 8-10 miles a week since the Vermont City Marathon in May 2015… and I knew that was gonna happen after training for the 20-Miler last February and Boston in April too. I miss the feeling of distance – the meditation of it, the need to carry a water bottle, the changing views of a two-hour run, the feeling in my heart and lungs as they settle in to the pace. December isn’t always the most obvious month to pick the mileage back up in, but the last four weeks have been really great as far as sunshine and motivation go!

And of course, we’ve had an EXCELLENT year of hiking and yoga, so no complaints overall. A couple of snaps from my latest adventure with some pals up to Square Ledge and Pinkham Notch in NH…hiking pinkham notch hiking new hampshire

I hope you’re all enjoying the close of 2015 with this warm weather and jingle bells in the air! What’s your first run of 2016 going to be? – a race, getting lost in the woods, a New Years run with friends?

Middle of Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training

kripalu in foliage

I’m pretty sure it’s the most spectacular time of year to ever disappear to the Berkshires for a month-long intensive yoga teacher training program!

Kripalu yoga teacher training

We are now in the middle of our third week of this 200-hour yoga teacher training program at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. That means just one and a half weeks left! Pure craziness, but we’ve learned SO MUCH in such a short amount of time.

From the very first day or two, we’ve been “teaching” each other things all the time. We’ve settled in for an hour or more of individual “posture clinics” on each and every posture of the 21 foundation postures of Kripalu yoga, and then taught each other immediately. We’ve taught each other through breath work, warm-ups, meditations, the methodology for learning a brand new pose, and of course each of the 21 postures – and their modifications, assists, benefits and contraindications. Whoa.

We’ve also studied philosophy, anatomy, ethics, Ayurveda and so much more. As you can guess, our days are pretty long:

  • 5:30am Alarm goes off in our dorm room of about 22 women!
  • 6:00 to 8:00am Yoga
  • Breakfast and I usually take a morning walk around the campus
  • 9:00 to 12:00pm Classroom
  • Typically time for a trail run, hike or even a vigorous vinyasa class, because we’re itching to move more! Then lunch.
  • 2:00 to 4:00pm Classroom
  • 4:00 to 6:00pm Yoga
  • Dinner, study time, shower, sauna (which is technically Ayurveda ;-))
  • 10:00pm Lights out

Each week brings another “Practice Teach”, which means we actually teach a full class to a group of fellow students, and even sometimes with an evaluator present. Everyone seems to get pretty hyped up about these things, but honestly, the training is guiding us through every single aspect of what we need to know beforehand. We have all the tools and the toolbox, and we just gotta do it. Not to mention, these are our last remaining opportunities to test things out in the safety of our yoga school before being out in the real world! The first week we taught for 45 minutes, then 1:05 hours, and now we’ll teach for 1:45 hours this week. There are guidelines to follow for each one, and our final class will be 100% our own creation!

On that note, I’m realizing (as predicted perhaps) that I really do want to teach yoga! It turns out I might actually even be good at it! Ha!

foliage at kripalu

I love every single one of my classmates in this program, and am so grateful for our leaders Coby Kozlowski, Jurian Hughes and Yoganand Michael Carroll. We all get along swimmingly, and I honestly couldn’t imagine it without my awesome dorm room of 22 women, ha! We’re exhausted, but we’re having a blast!

More to come! Happy November to you all!